Vitor Meira, a 10-year IndyCar veteran, has opted to return to his home country of Brazil for 2012 and take a seat in Campeonato Brasileiro de Stock Car, the major motorsports series in the country.
Meira announced this week that he is joining the Officer ProGP Chevrolet-powered team, partnering with Duda Pamplona. The first round of the national touring car championship takes place at Interlagos on March 25.
"Everything has a beginning and an end," he told Brazilian media this week. "I just have to thank all teams in Indy for the whole fantastic experience I have acquired over the past 10 years. I had some proposals to continue racing in the United States, but I strongly believe that the right decision at this time will be to enter Stock Car, one of the best categories of touring cars in the world."
That said, he hasn't entirely ruled out an occasional return to the U.S. – perhaps in a one-off opportunity at the Indianapolis 500 or IndyCar's race in Brazil. Meira tweeted on Friday, "FYI, I'm still working in some races in IndyCar!"
Meira has made 131 career starts in IndyCar but never won. His best season came in 2006 with Panther Racing, when he finished fifth in the final points standings with three runner-up and three third-place results. He also finished second at the Indianapolis 500 twice (2005, 2008). The last three years with A.J. Foyt Enterprises have brought only one further podium finish, a third in the 2010 race at Brazil. He finished 16th in the 2011 series standings.